The project, done in partnership with the PUD, had already completed phase one. Phase two would begin this month, in anticipation of PUD rebate money.
Ameresco, the contractor for phase two, has notified the school district of an error in their calculations to complete the project.
“It was supposed to cost $45,000,” said Garrett. “Now they are saying $75,000. That isn’t going to fly. That was your error, you folks provided the specs to the bidders."
If the project isn’t completed properly, rebate money could disappear. Representatives from Ameresco are expected to arrive in a couple weeks to discuss options.
The school board continued to move forward in its bid to change board representation from five districts to three districts plus two at large.
After speaking with Prosecuting Attorney Dan Bigelow and County Auditor Diane Tischer, Garrett requested assistance from Dave Nixon, a cartographer and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) technician for the county to see if the population of the voting precincts could be combined to three director districts that were somewhat equally populated, and ultimately to provide legal descriptions of those boundaries.
The board has to make a decision regarding the amount they will request in the coming maintenance and operations special levy no later than December 27.
Garrett provided the directors with budget numbers and the most recent assessed valuation of the school property as well as how that would affect calculations for tax rates.
“Over the last couple years the assessed valuation has actually dropped, as people successfully contested their assessed valuations of their properties,” Garrett said. “I’m going to be really apprehensive to be recommending an amount that exceeds what we did last time, personally. It’s going to be your call in the end. We could ask for more, the actual levy capacity has gone up but I probably won’t be recommending a figure that goes above the $987,000.”
The levy, which covers items that the state will not, pays for staffing, MSOCs (maintenance, supplies and operating costs), salaries and transportation for extracurricular activities, vocational education programs, food services, employee health premiums, technology upgrades and support, regular transportation routes, staff in-service and major curriculum adoptions.
Theresa Libby, principal at Julius A. Wendt had some praise for her staff.
“Janine Oman deserves gold stars for how much time and effort she has put into the WAKids assessing,” Libby said.
Libby then shared that she had received a call from a principal in Kalama who was wondering what was going on in Cathlamet and wanted to send some middle school language arts teachers here to find out. She singled out Carrie Badger and Tina Merz for their good work.
The high school is adjusting to its myriad schedules according to Principal Stephanie Leitz.
Along with late start Thursdays, there is now Mule Success Time, a 30 minute flex time three times a week where students who are struggling can have more quality time with teachers and students who have proven that they can manage their time can use the 30 minutes for homework, group projects, build leadership skills or do community service.
“Students and teachers are appreciative of the time to connect,” Leitz said.
Friday’s schedule is also new, accommodating Club Time, after a study found that students who were involved in extra-curricular activities performed better in school. There are a lot of clubs to choose from, including but not limited to Cooking Club, Dance Team, Knowledge Bowl and Writers Club.
In other news, the board voted to move the ASB Imprest accounts from Bank of America, which charges a fee, to Bank of the Pacific, which does not.
The board went into executive session to discuss negotiations.
The next school board meeting will be November 19. Because the December meeting falls on Christmas Eve, the meeting has been moved to December 19.